On Set with Dawn Nathan-Jones

The Socialite reveals a 5 part series as we go behind the scenes with the co-stars on Shark Tank SA. Our second interview features Shark Dawn Nathan-Jones, check it out…

South Africa welcomes its latest addition to reality television with the debut of Shark Tank SA to the M-Net channel. The reality show is based on the two-time Emmy award-winning US series produced by Mark Burnett – the creator of Survivor US and the Celebrity Apprentice.

The second shark to take the hot seat is Chief Executive Officer at Europcar and Imperial Car Rental Division South Africa Dawn Nathan-Jones.

1.   Can you tell us a bit about your family and growing up?

I came from humble beginnings in Durban. I was fortunate to get a good education, although at the time I wanted to travel and make money.  My first part time job at the age of 15 was doing direct sales for a cosmetic company. I sold R500 worth of products in one morning. I didn’t know much about the product but I knew I wanted to make money; it was then that I discovered that I had the potential to sell ice to an Eskimo.

In the early days of Imperial Car Rental, I probably didn’t understand 99% of the things I know today.  I was armed with determination, energy and a will to win.  Carol Scott employed me at Imperial Car Rental at the age of 21 as a rental agent.   We had a burning desire to survive and compete with the major players.  I was naïve and innocent but driven, qualities that helped shape my future.

2.      How do you balance your work life from your home life?

I’m not sure that I’ve ever been able to master the work – home life balance. I’ve learnt to manage stress by taking frequent holidays/short breaks with the family.  Being organized and prioritizing tasks both at work at home helps tremendously.  Having a good support system at home and at the office is also critical for a senior executive.

3.       What’s going through your mind as you listen to people lay their business dreams on the line?

Firstly, I understand how nerve-racking it is for these entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas so I always keep an open mind. I listen intently and do not make any prejudgment calls before the person is finished their pitch. While it’s important for the entrepreneurs to know the facts and figures, I also look out for honesty and integrity which are key values for me in business.

4.       What would you say is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Never stop chasing your dreams… dream BIG.

5.   What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time?

It would have to be chilling with my son, traveling and working out.

6.   Most memorable moment on set during the production?

Seeing four of the five sharks crying their eyes out – ok I won’t elaborate.

7.   Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?

Charlize Theron

8.   What’s your guilty pleasure?

Retail therapy……

9.   Favourite hotspots to hang out at in Jozi, Durban and Cape Town?

Sipping bubbly and watching the sun set in Clifton.

10.   Favourite TV show to watch on MNET at the moment?

Chilling on a Sunday night watching Carte Blanche…..

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